Five people have been killed in crashes across Canterbury this morning.
Emergency services were called to a crash on Cochrane’s Road, south of Ashburton, shortly after 9.30am this morning.
Three people were killed in the collision between a truck and a van, while another died on the way to hospital.
St John said they took three people to nearby Ashburton Hospital, two in a moderate condition, and one serious.
It’s believed two of them were onboard the van, as well as the driver of the truck.
Two helicopters were deployed to the scene from Christchurch but returned without patients, according to Simon Duncan from Garden City Helicopters.
Meanwhile, police were notified of a truck crashing with a motorcycle in the Christchurch suburb of Riccarton shortly before 7am.
The motorcyclist died of their injuries, police later said.
The deaths come hours before the road toll for the Queen’s Birthday weekend begins counting, and after catastrophic floods have left roads in the region impassable or in a dangerous condition for driving.
Those travelling through Canterbury this long weekend are advised to leave extra time for delays, with the State Highway 1 bridge over the Ashburton River still not at 100 per cent capacity.